Chicago Cubs: Willson Contreras and MLB’s Venezuela crisis

(Photo by Marco Bello/Getty Images)
(Photo by Marco Bello/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Contreras saves family

Contreras was surfing the news of Venezuela online and saw a local group doing things for his country and contacted them. Just so happens the group is run by John Pence, nephew of Vice President of the United States Mike Pence. Although there is no known tie reported between Contreras and the White House (no one asked), (John) Pence was able to secure the Northside catcher’s folks out of harm’s way, smuggling the infamous parent’s of the social media activist and baseball celebrity out of  a foreign country under the nose and watchful eye of a dictator. I want to see the movie how they did it!

But this is typical local Indiana political consultant stuff. The website Ballotpedia says John Pence has a job pretty close to the White House and President:

"As of September 2017, he was the deputy executive director for Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign."

But apparently, there was no help from the White House. Got it.

Regardless of how the Contreras family escaped or if the White House, C.I.A. or any part of our government helped, the result is that they are now safe in the U.S., which is totally fine with Contreras according to Wittenmyer. Now that Contreras has gotten his parents out of the country, some of his stress has gone away:

"John Pence, who since has worn Contreras’ shirt in videos, helped Contreras get his parents — who were without power for a week — out of Venezuela and into the United States last week. ‘‘It means a lot, especially having Mom and Dad in town,’’ he said. ‘‘That takes a lot of weight off my shoulders, a lot of pressure off myself, and lets me be a little more free and happy.’’"

Many news reports were talking about Contreras being affected on the field by the problems in Venezuela. Contreras admitted there was a weight on his shoulders but now with his parents out of harm’s way, Contreras can’t help thinking about how his life changed from being on the streets of Venezuela to having the opportunity to be a professional ballplayer. Contreras more than others, knows that dream is dying for young children throughout Venezuela. Even MLB is facing an impact of the widespread hunger throughout the country. Crisis conditions in the country have made it difficult to carry on MLB recruiting operations or even get qualified candidates.